10 tips for meeting new people in your student accommodation

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Starting university is an exciting time for many students, but it can also be quite daunting too. It may be your first time away from home, in a new city and you’re living in a place where you don’t yet no anybody. But if you are feeling anxious or worried about meeting new people, now is the perfect time to make new friends and expand your social network through university, your accommodation and within the local community; so embrace it! Remember when it comes to starting university, everyone is in the same boat as you. And to help get you started, we’ve pulled together some top tips for meeting new people in your accommodation…

10 top tips to help you meet new people at uni - Host

If you’re interested in finding out more about our student accommodation or living with us here at Host Wembley in London, drop us an email at wembley@host-students.com, call us on +44(0)20 3475 5952 or pop in and see us and we’ll be happy to help.

3 tips to beat Results Day stress

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For a lot of you out there this is a very stressful time because A Level Result’s Day is just around the corner. You’re probably going through every possible scenario in your head, over and over again – and who can blame you! This is something that will affect your future in every possible way, and that’s why this month we’ve put together 3 top tips to help you through this stressful time.

1. Have the right attitude
What’s done is done, and what needs to happen will happen. You have worked hard and there’s nothing more you can do at this point to change your results. Now it’s just time to be confident and understand that if this is the path that you are supposed to be on then you’ve got this in the pocket.

If by any chance you don’t receive the results that you were expecting, then it’s a great way to learn and grow from the experience. Life didn’t go your way. Now what? Take a gap year? Resit your exams? Apply through Clearing? There’s so many options out there, but it’s your attitude towards these “curve balls” that life throws at you that will determine your success in the future. If you really want it and if it’s meant for you it will eventually happen.

2. Get all your ducks in a row…
Results day will be busy, so it’s important you have everything ready beforehand. You’ll be tracking your results on UCAS, securing university places, confirming accommodation and probably speaking to a lot of people. Have things such as usernames or user IDs, login details and reference numbers handy and ensure all of your contact information is up to date – it will make the process of speaking to people on results day a lot quicker and easier.

If you’re not available on results day, and someone else will be taking care of things for you, it’s worth contacting universities or accommodation providers such as Host prior to results day to nominate a person to speak about things on your behalf. Due to new GDPR regulations in the UK, staff might not be able to speak to anyone else about your application details unless there is prior consent.

3. Breathe!
The main purpose of breathing is to expel carbon dioxide and absorb oxygen with every single movement that our lungs make. The diaphragm is the most important muscle that allows us to breathe in and out.

A person’s breathing changes if they are under stress or if they are suffering from any kind of anxiety. If you are going through a similar situation you are probably taking small and shallow breaths and you are not using your diaphragm. If you are not breathing properly the repercussions can range from headaches, irritability and more stress! So just take a breather and relax! It will be alright. We promise.

If you’re starting university in London and are looking for student accommodation, why not stay with us in Wembley? View our rooms or contact us on +44(0) 20 3475 5952 or at wembley@host-students.com for more information.

Looking after yourself at university

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If you’re awaiting results and getting ready to depart for university, you’re probably excited about what the next few months have in store for you. The transition to university and student life can bring lots of opportunities, which can be easy for some, but it can be tougher for others.

Some students may experience issues such as academic stress, homesickness, drug and alcohol misuse or eating difficulties. Problems at university can lead to your health (physical or mental health) deteriorating.

However, there are many things you can do to help improve your health and wellbeing – ensuring you make the most of your time as a student.

1. Be social
Socialise with others and grow your friendship network. Chat with classmates, introduce yourself to fellow residents at your accommodation, join clubs and societies, get involved with any events at your university/college, accommodation or student’s union, volunteer in the community and embrace any work opportunities.

2. Communicate
Speak with your family and friends from home regularly. Let them know how you’re getting on, share your experiences and know that everything is ok with them too.

3. Sleep
Get a good night’s sleep to feel refreshed and recharged – you’ll wake up with a more positive attitude ready to take on the day.

4. Exercise
Regular exercise will not only maintain your physical health, but also your mental health. You’ll see an immediate boost in your overall mood; it’s a great way to clear your head and relieve any stress you may have.

5. Eat well
Maintain a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients, and avoid eating too much junk and convenience foods as they’ll will make you feel lethargic.

6. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, particularly if you are drinking alcohol. If you don’t drink enough water you’ll become dehydrated which can cause headaches and make you feel tired and dizzy.

If you do experience problems, no matter how big or small they may be, you should always speak to someone and seek advice. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, a doctor, a support group, your university’s welfare department or a member of the Host team, they will be able to offer support, help and guidance.

Which accommodation should you choose?

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It’s the time of the year when A-level exams are finishing, the mad rush of getting ready for university begins and searching for accommodation is well underway. It can be a stressful time, but the decisions you make can be the most important of your life to date. Some students can’t wait to leave home, and some find the thought of leaving home rather nerve racking. But no matter how you’re feeling, you probably all have a few questions about starting university and finding the right student accommodation; will I need accommodation? Where do I start my search? What is private accommodation? What’s provided in halls?… and you continue to think these questions over and over again.

So, to help you make the right accommodation choices, we’ve pulled together a short list of things to consider if you’re getting ready to go to university.

Where is your university?
By now, you should know which university you will be hoping to study at in September – providing you gain the required results. So, with this in mind, think about where that university is located and how accessible it is to you from your current home. Is it close enough to travel to on a daily basis? Or will you need to relocate to study in that city? Even if it is close enough to travel to, perhaps you still want to move out so you can gain the full university / student life experience.

Living at home
It’s not required for you to move out and live away from home for university. If it’s more convenient and cost effective for you to live at home whilst at university, then that’s a great option. Not only that, but whether it’s your parents, siblings, grandparents or even the family pet, you’ll have the support of your family at home whilst you work hard towards graduating. They will be so pleased with your accomplishments, and they’ll be there for you throughout the highs and lows of university life. And with living in the comfort and quietness of your own home and having your family around you, what more do you need to get through an eventful 3 years of university?

Living in university accommodation
If you have decided to move away and live in university accommodation, what a lovely experience that will be too. University residences are lively and busy environments with students from all different backgrounds living together. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and make friends with students in your accommodation and around the campus. You’ll be able to join in with on-site events, contribute to organising future events, and widen your social network – it can be an amazing experience.

Living in private accommodation
As well as university halls of residence, as a first-year student you can also live in private student accommodation – like the type offered by ourselves here at Host Wembley. It may be a personal preference to opt for private student accommodation over university accommodation (due to factors such as location, on-site facilities, new and modern accommodation etc.), it could be that your university has an agreement with a private accommodation provider and therefore that accommodation is a preferred choice for students, or it may be that university halls are full and the only option left is private accommodation. But regardless of the reason why you live with us here at Host, you can enjoy hassle-free, all-inclusive student living.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for this September, why not stay with us in Wembley? View our rooms or contact us on +44(0) 20 3475 5952 or at wembley@host-students.com for more information.

Top post-exam holiday destinations

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You’ve probably been inundated with revision tips and how to get through your exams and achieve your desired results. So, rather than throw even more tips at you, what about something to look forward to when your exams are finished?

After a busy semester and all that hard work, you’ll likely be in need of a break, and what better way to relax than with a holiday. Below are 5 beautiful destinations well worth a visit when your exams are finished.

1. Croatia

Panoramic view on the beautiful beach in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Set your sites on the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia; which in the extreme south of Croatia is otherwise called the Pearl of the Adriatic. There’s so much to see and do in this beautiful city. Explore places such as the Old Town and Ancient City Walls, be amazed with breath-taking views from cable cars, lounge on the sandy beaches or see the city with a biking adventure. Then when it’s time to refuel, visit the local restaurants to taste some of Croatia’s finest cuisine. And if all else fails, you can immerse yourself in the city’s nightlife and go clubbing all night and sleep all day!

2. Thailand

James Bond island near Phuket in Thailand.

A destination slightly further afield, but the rainforested, mountainous island of Phuket in Thailand is definitely worth visiting if you’re after a fantastic place to explore.

Besides relaxing on the fine white sandy beaches, there are many activities to enjoy throughout your visit. From boat tours to Nga Bay where you can go kayaking, or taking a trip to the Similian Islands to go snorkelling, to speed boat tours to Phi Phi and Khai Islands. But if you prefer dry land, why not go and see the beautiful elephants in Phang Nga? No matter your preference, there’s so much to see and do in Thailand, so if you’re up for a big adventure go, go, go!

3. Vietnam

rice fields vietnam

If you love culture and history, and you’re up for travelling the distance, a trip to Vietnam certainly won’t disappoint.

Visit the market of Ben Thanh, see the Notre Dame Cathedral and war remnants museum in Ho Chi Mih City, and visit the numerous heritage sites around Vietnam. A trip to the capital Hanoi is a must, where the old and new Asia combine to bring a fusion of modern and medieval times. The diverse scenery of Vietnam is like no other, from limestone hills and paddy fields, to endless miles of coastline for when you’re ready to relax. So, don’t be shy go and expand your travel portfolio!

4. Devon

South west coast path to Woolacombe Devon England UK in summer with blue sky

Taking a holiday doesn’t mean you have to jump on a plane and leave the country; there are some wonderful places to visit right here in the UK.

And when the sun’s shining, there’s no better place to visit than Devon in the South of England. With coastal paths stretching for miles – all the way from Minehead to Dorset, you can explore the beautiful coastal scenery with dramatic cliffs, rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, hidden coves and much more.

Other attractions in Devon range from the Royal Albert Museum and Quince Honey Farm, to the beautiful Becky falls. Alternatively, have a day out at the zoo or visit some of the liveliest theme parks, or simply take in the fresh sea air and chill out on the beach with an ice-cream – just be sure to eat it before it melts!

5. Ibiza

Dj Set At The Beach Party.

Now, Ibiza is the holiday many of you have probably been waiting for; the holiday of holidays, and the clubbers extravaganza! If you’re all about the night life, there are masses of clubs to suite all tastes. Everything is cheaper and the resorts are all in close vicinity. And after a long night of dancing and partying, recover with a lazy afternoon poolside, try out some of the water sports at the beach, or continue the party with a boat party!

So, once your exams are finished, you can look forward to packing your bags and travelling to one of these top destinations. From sightseeing and exploring, to sunbathing and partying, there’s something for everyone.

A succulent Sunday roast recipe

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As you all know Easter is fast approaching. And with less than a week to go, we thought that we’d share with you a recipe for a succulent roast dinner that can be enjoyed on Easter Sunday; Hay-baked Leg of lamb. So, gather your ingredients, follow the preparation guidelines and get cooking to enjoy a tasty roast this weekend.

hay-baked-stuffed-leg-of-lamb
Image source: BBC Good Food

Ingredients
Before you start licking your lips in anticipation of the feast ahead, you’ll need to have all your ingredients ready to go.

  • 250g Kale
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
  • 4 Anchovies, finely chopped
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1½ Kg leg of lamb, part tunnel-boned, shank still attached (you can ask butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 bunches of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 100g hay, toasted (for 8-10 minutes at gas mark 3/ 160C/ 140C for fan assisted ovens)
  • 500ml lamb/chicken stock cube
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • Butchers string to tie the lamb together.

And what roast dinner would be complete without some roast potatoes and fresh vegetables? So, whether it’s carrots and green beans, or broccoli and spring greens, don’t forget to load your basket with your favourite veggies and potatoes. If you’re not a lamb fan, try the recipe with chicken instead!

Preparing the stuffing

  • Boil the kale in a pan on the stove until wilted.
  • Transfer the kale directly into iced water to refresh.
  • Drain all excess water from the kale, then roughly chop.
  • Add the chopped kale into a mixing bowl and stir with the breadcrumbs, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest and season with black pepper.
  • Once mixed, pack the stuffing into the lamb’s cavity and tie with string – making sure it is secure so it doesn’t fall apart whilst cooking.

Cooking Instructions

  • Heat oven to Gas Mark 5/ 190C or 170C for fan assisted ovens
  • Mix the hay with the rosemary and thyme, and spread in a deep roasting tin.
  • Dissolve 1 stock cube in 500ml of boiling water then poor over the hay.
  • Place your stuffed lamb on top of the hay, sprinkle some salt on top and drizzle 2 table spoons of olive oil over your lamb.

Cooking times will vary depending how you like your lamb to be cooked, see suggested cooking times below:

  • Well done – 1 hour 40 minutes in the oven
  • Medium to well – 1 hour 30 minutes in the oven
  • Rare to Medium – 1 hour 20 minutes in the oven

Once cooked to your desired taste, remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving. Then, dig-in and enjoy your seasonal hay-baked stuffed leg of lamb!

For more tasty Easter recipes, see here

4 cities to escape to this Easter

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Easter is nearly upon us which can only mean one thing for students – a well-deserved break from university! So, what have you got planned for the holidays? You might be finishing off assignments, starting revision or heading home to catch up with family. But if you’ve got a few days spare, why not jump on a plane and explore a European city for a few days? Below are just a handful of the destinations you can easily visit from the UK.

Barcelona
Located in Spain, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular cities for visitors. Immerse yourself in a city with endless culture and a landscape packed with beautiful architecture and design. And with a beach in the city too, you can soak up some spring sunshine while taking in the fresh sea air too. You’ll find the streets lined with bars, restaurants and entertainers – perfect for relaxing and enjoying a cocktail or two after a busy day of sightseeing.

Rome  
Italy’s capital, Rome, is a city that boasts many layers of history. The ancient ruins, extraordinary monuments and cobbled lanes make it a getaway with lots to see and explore including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican City. And of course, a trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without sampling some local Italian food – it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re a big fan of pizza!

Dubrovnik
An increasingly popular tourist destination, Dubrovnik is Croatia’s most up-market destination. A city famous for its spectacular walls dating back to the 9th century, it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a stroll and admire the shimmer of the Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik’s Old Town – which, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you may recognise as it’s been a popular filming location for the series. And as spring and summer approach, the temperature in Croatia increases, meaning you can enjoy some al fresco dining too.

Prague
Nicknamed ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’ – because of the number of towers and spires which embellish the buildings throughout the city, Prague has been considered one of Europe’s most interesting cities. The Vltava River runs through the city, and picturesque bridges – including the iconic Charles Bridge, connect the city. As well as popular tourist attractions such as St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle and Old Town Square, sampling some of Prague’s beer is a must.

Looking for student accommodation in London? Why not stay with us at our student accommodation in Wembley? View our rooms or contact us on +44(0) 20 3475 5952 or at wembley@host-students.com for more information.

3 simple and healthy pancake recipes

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Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or as a small snack in between lectures, pancakes are quick and easy to make and taste great too. While pancakes smothered in chocolate spread, topped with ice cream and sprinkled in sugar aren’t the healthiest option, there are some alternative pancake recipes which are much healthier for you. And with Pancake Day next week, there’s never been a better time to get out your frying pan and put your pancake flipping skills to the test.

Banana pancakes
With only 3 ingredients in this recipe, these pancakes are quick and easy to make.  They’re also gluten-free, low-calorie and definitely guilt-free!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ large bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk together with the baking powder.
  2. In another bowl, add in the bananas and mash them with a fork. But not too much – ensure there are still chunks of bananas.
  3. Add the egg mixture with the mashed bananas and stir to combine.
  4. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of batter to a frying pan for each pancake and cook over a medium heat, flipping it over and cooking on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot and with your choice of toppings (if any).

Chocolate protein pancakes
Get your chocolate fix without reaching for the jar of chocolate spread with these delicious choc-tastic pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of batter to a frying pan for each pancake and cook over a medium heat, flipping it over and cooking on both sides until brown. Serve hot and with your choice of toppings (if any).

Sweet potato pancakes
If you’re more of a savoury person, combine sweet potato with savoury cottage cheese, for a hearty and protein packed breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup oats
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add ¼ of batter to a frying pan for each pancake and cook over a medium heat, flipping it over and cooking on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot and with your choice of toppings (if any).
  3. Repeat until all batter has been used.

Ready, set, book! Student accommodation now available for 2018-19

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You heard it here first, we’re now taking bookings for the academic year 2018-19! So, if you’re searching for affordable student accommodation in London, look no further than Host Wembley…

All-inclusive student accommodation
Student living at Host Wembley couldn’t be easier. Simply pay your rent and we take care of the rest. There’s no need to worry about water and electric bills, or insurance and internet providers, we’re on it. Our all-inclusive living means you can focus on what’s important; your studies and being a student.

Here to help
At Host Wembley, our team is your team. You’ll find our friendly management team available onsite during the week days, as well as security onsite throughout the evenings and weekends. So, if you’ve got any issues or questions, we’re here to help and get things sorted, quickly.

We understand that student life can be an emotional whirlwind, that’s why we’re always on hand to offer good advice, or listen, when we’re needed. We’re here for all of our students – even if it’s just to take delivery of your latest online order!

Location
Located in the Wembley Park district, north west London, Host Wembley is conveniently located for you to enjoy student life at its best.

With Wembley Park tube station – served by the Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines, just a 2-minute walk away, getting in and around London couldn’t be easier. Getting to university won’t be a hassle either as many of London’s universities and colleges are located close by including the University of Westminster, Birbeck, University of London, Middlesex University, UCFB Wembley, London School of Science and Technology and the Royal Academy of Music. But that’s not all…

You’ll find everything from designer shops and high street brands, to coffee shops, restaurants and even a cinema just around the corner at the London Designer Outlet shopping centre. And you can be sure to be part of the action when the world’s biggest sports and music stars are in town with Wembley Stadium and The SSE Arena, Wembley both right on your doorstep.

Time to rebook? Ready. Set. Go.Extend your stay at Host Wembley
If you’re already living with us, why not rebook and stay with us for another year? It’s not just first years who can stay at our student accommodation. We welcome students from all years and even postgraduates.

So, if you enjoy living at Host Wembley, why look anywhere else? You’re busy at university and meeting upcoming deadlines, and you really don’t need the added stress of house hunting. Plus, rebooking with Host is easy. Head to the online portal and log into your account, or pop down and speak with a member of the onsite management team here at Host Wembley and we’ll be happy to help.

Like the sound of our student accommodation at Host Wembley? Book your room today for 2018/19 or contact us on +44(0)20 3475 5952 or at wembley@host-students.com to book a viewing and for more information about living with us.

Christmas in Wembley

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If you’re in Wembley this December and looking for something fun and festive to get you in the Christmas spirit, you won’t be disappointed. There’s a whole host of events taking place and all within a stone’s throw of our accommodation here at Host Wembley. Check out some of our top picks below…

Let’s Rock Christmas
Party like it’s yesterday and join in the fun at a Christmas party like no other. On Thursday 14th December, Let’s Rock Christmas – The Retro Show, arrives at The SSE Arena Wembley for one night only. Dance the night away to non-stop music from some of the best-loved artists from years gone by including Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde and Go West. It’s the perfect way to start the festive season and get you in the party mood.

Peter Pan Pantomime
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see a performance of the season’s hottest pantomime. And this year, it’s definitely one not to miss. The classic story of Peter Pan will be brought to life at The SSE Arena Wembley for an arena spectacular with the performance across three stages, plenty of action and an all-star cast featuring Bradley Walsh and Martin Kemp. But you’d best be quick to get your tickets, performances are for two days only on 29th and 30th December. After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it’s a perfect post-Christmas activity to enjoy with family or friends.

Christmas Shopping
Whether you’re in need of a gift for the secret santa with your uni friends, something special for your loved ones or you’re simply looking to treat yourself this season, there’s only one place to shop; London Designer Outlet. Packed with everything from clothing and footwear, to beauty products and accessories, you’ll find something for even the most awkward if people to buy for. And when you’re done shopping, rest your feet and enjoy a well-earned drink or bite to eat at one of the coffee shops or restaurants, all under one roof at the shopping centre.

Slideatron
New for 2017, and a world first, head over to Wembley Park and check out Wembley’s latest free attraction for Christmas; Slideatron. A unique and modern take on a Christmas tree, the Slideatron is an 18 metre high LED Christmas tree with a 20 metre long thrill slide. Climb the 60 steps to the top and admire the views of Wembley Park and beyond from the open-air viewing platform, then when you’re done, slide your way down to the bottom for a festive thrill!

Looking for student accommodation in London? If you would like to know more about living with us here at Host Wembley during your studies, contact us on +44(0)20 3475 5952 or at wembley@host-students.com. We have a choice of room types and tenancy lengths available including single semester contracts.